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Title: Analysing the direct and indirect effects of entrepreneurial competencies on international market diversification and profitability: a study of small exporting firms in Ghana

Authors: Prince Kwarteng Oppong; Utz Dornberger; Md. Noor Un Nabi

Addresses: International Small Enterprise and Promotion Training (SEPT) Program, Leipzig University, Ritterstraße 9-13, 04109 Leipzig, Germany ' International Small Enterprise and Promotion Training (SEPT) Program, Leipzig University, Ritterstraße 9-13, 04109 Leipzig, Germany ' International Small Enterprise and Promotion Training (SEPT) Program, Leipzig University, Ritterstraße 9-13, 04109 Leipzig, Germany

Abstract: The study analyses the direct and indirect effects of entrepreneurial competencies (ECs) on the international performance of small exporting firms. Considering the high importance of ECs, it particularly looks at their direct and indirect impacts on international market diversification (IMD) and profitability. We contribute to the growing research in special areas of internationalisation of SMEs and underscored particular competencies for internationalisation, their interactions and relationships as well as implications for small exporting firms in Ghana and their international performance. Primary data was collected through a survey of 134 small exporting firms from different sectors in Ghana and analysed with structural equation modelling, which was made of nine constructs. The study showed that five identified ECs have direct positive effects on IMD, which also leads to a superior rate of profitability. It furthermore highlighted the mediation effect of IMD which caused indirect effects of ECs on profitability.

Keywords: entrepreneurial competencies; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; internationalisation; international market diversification; IMD; international performance; Ghana.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEXPORTM.2019.101808

International Journal of Export Marketing, 2019 Vol.3 No.1, pp.35 - 58

Received: 01 Feb 2019
Accepted: 08 Jun 2019

Published online: 22 Aug 2019 *

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